Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Rodhams of Scranton

Earlier this week, The New York Times took a look at Senator Hillary Clinton's family connection to Scranton, PA. They've even got some home movie footage.

From Katharine Q. Seelye's article:

Mrs. Clinton’s great-grandparents came to Scranton in the 1880s in steerage from Wales. Her grandfather, Hugh S. Rodham, began work as a boy at the Scranton Lace Company, once the world’s largest producer of Nottingham lace, now a shuttered hulking behemoth, on track to be redeveloped as an arts space and apartments. Mr. Rodham and his wife, Hannah, raised three boys here, including Hillary’s father, Hugh E. Rodham, who went to Penn State University, where he played football (and made bathtub gin, according to his daughter).

“The Scranton of my father’s youth was a rough industrial city of brick factories, textile mills, coal mines, rail yards and wooden duplex houses,” Mrs. Clinton wrote in her memoir, “Living History.”

An aside: I have two friends who grew up in Scranton. One, a woman in her early 20s who just moved back to Scranton after a year-plus of living in NYC, is supporting Senator Barack Obama. The other, an attorney in her 50s who now lives in Western Pennsylvania, is a die-hard Republican who would never cast a vote for the former First Lady. A small sampling to be sure, but I thought I'd share.

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